Friday, April 29, 2016


I'm in the air. About to land. Fourth time visiting my mom in 2 months. 

This time she's ok. 

But I find no matter how she is, she's grounding. 

The experience is grounding. The sameness. The palm trees in the airport. 

The smiling clerks at supermarkets. 

The light colored cars that all look the same. 

One day it won't be the same. 

But today I'm nothing but relieved to disappear into the familiarity. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Yesterday I had one of those once in a lifetime, how did I get to do this, outside my comfort zone experiences. 

I talked about being a mom. 

It seemed like it would be easy. Being a mom is my most important role. It defines me in a way nothing else has or will. It made me, changed me. Shaped me.

Forced me to grow and let go. 

To be stronger and kinder. 

To channel patience at levels I never knew possible and in all that discover compassion I didn't know was in me. 

And learn what the depths of love truly are. 

But talking about it was actually hard. Almost impossible at points. I was awed by the other mothers I met and felt unworthy to be there after listening to  their struggles and realities. 

But one woman said to me: everyone has a story, and that helped. A bit. 

I spent hours in a holding room, then worked with wardrobe - they liked my style and I wore my own eclectic stuff that looked much better everything was steamed. I sat in hair/make up. Was wired for sound and let to a wooden stool on a dark set. The direct was behind a screen, her face reflected in a mirror I could see. Crew and clients were off to the side, bathed in darkness watching me on monitors.  

I've been interviewed plenty of times before, but this was different. I wasn't talking about a subject I'd researched or a cause I was fighting for. 

I was talking about me. 


I teared up far more than I expected to. I got lost in answers. I wasn't making points I wanted to. In fact, it wasn't about making points at all. I walked off set relatively certain I bombed the whole thing and that everyone was relieved when I stopped talking. 

But that's part of motherhood too. Not always being perfect or fine or right. Sometimes, as my little one says, it's just about being present and listening. 

Yesterday, I was present. I listened. I met remarkable women and am grateful to have shared their stories and glimpses into their lives. 

This was all for a project that will be online for Mother's Day. Sitting here I'm doubting I'll make the final cut. But the experience itself was one I will never forget. I was proud, nervous, uncomfortable, honest, empathic, relieved, in the moment, on the spot. 

And isn't that what motherhood is about?

Saturday, April 23, 2016


I mean to write. 

I think about writing. 

I even start sometimes. 

But life gets away from me. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


It's imminent. 

In the air. 

Around the corner. 

On one hand I am so super excited to watch my child expand her horizons. 

On the other I am going to be quietly broken hearted that she won't be part of my day to day soon. 

But, for now, I'm holding tight to the thrill and pride and amazement at who she is, what she's accomplished, and where she's heading. 

Monday, April 18, 2016


No matter how crazy things get, no matter scary or out of control or overwhelming or intense or confusing or conflicting, I never doubt that I am loved. 

And that is one of the things I am most grateful for. 

It's not often that I see something that I have to have, but this bracelet spoke to me. Nice to have a constant reminder that love is always there. Should you fall in love too:

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I am cranky. 


Wiped out. 









I can't figure out what to eat. I can't get a good night's sleep. 

It's been a stretch of challenges on every conceivable level and the positive part of me, that's usually got the upper hand, seems to have thrown in the towel.  

Rain and clouds would be perfect right about now. Even this beautiful blue spring sky is getting on my nerves. 

I'm looking forward to being able to look forward again. 



Internal bleeding. 

That conjures up all sorts of not positive scenarios. 

Dropping hemoglobin. 

Another transfusion. 

We don't know. 

We'll have to see. 

That was yesterday. It's hard, no it's close to impossible to completely breathe deep with those words hanging out in space. Doubt engaged. Fear piqued. Waiting for news that could be fine or catastrophic. 

Bleeding ulcer in the esophagus. 

That was today. And amazingly that was amazing news. A finite answer. A relatively quick fix. 

Hope is the new worry. 

Optimism is the new doubt. 

With all that positivity though comes the post stress crash. Relief that all is ok with exhaustion and apathy thrown into the mix as things settle back down to this new status quo. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


I talk to my mom. A lot. She thinks not enough. I hit the guilt ball back with the fact that I speak to her far more than most people speak to their mothers.

She complains that I call when I'm on my way somewhere. I respond with she should be glad I call so often.

She says we don't talk for long enough. I say I'll call back later. She says I never remember. I try to but life often gets in the way.

That's been our phone volley for a long time.

Only now, it's not.

I see my mom's number pop up on my screen, hear the old phone ringtone that let's me know it's her, and my stomach clenches. Tears often well up. I'm scared something will be wrong because, for the past few months, something generally is. At this point, I've been conditioned for bad news. I steel myself to be supportive, understanding, positive, ready to drop everything to make phone calls, inform people, even fly down if and when necessary.

It's a completely different way of being.

This whole experience has changed me. Every time I talk to my mom I'm grateful she can talk to me. I call her when I'm sitting and can talk as long as she wants to. I'm happy to live the life of Seinfeld and have conversations about nothing.

These days, I'm never quite ready to say goodbye.

I would love to go back to the days when we're slightly annoyed at each other and disagree about how we should be in touch. Because that will mean the day to day drama we've been living through will be a thing of the past.

But for now,  I am grateful for every single time we talk.

Monday, April 11, 2016


"You should think about coming."  

I got three of those phone calls. Not come now, or this is it, or tomorrow might be too late. 

"You should think about coming."

I froze every time. I didn't want to make that decision, as if making it acknowledged things were that bad. That there was a chance my mom wouldn't survive. That in a heartbeat she could be gone. 

I wanted someone to tell me what to do. 

I wanted someone to tell me it would be ok. Deeper than that, I wanted my mom to tell me she would be ok.

But she wasn't. 

I flew down three times last month, not knowing, when I got on the plane if she'd still be there when I landed. I spent hours and hours in ICU's and critical care rooms. Acclimating to incessant beeping and pulsing monitors. Negotiating with doctors and nurses in a language I didn't understand. Days full of stents and hospital psychosis, oxygen masks and ice chips, fresh blood and more medications than one could imagine, cajoling her into sipping water, eating, and breathing deep. When she told me she loved me and that I couldn't help being so annoying, my heart swelled. It was a moment. 

It became about moments. 

When she was on breathing and feeding tubes but smiled when she saw me. 

That was a moment.  

When she told me that I come and miracles happen. 


When she said she had been in a bad place but when I got there she was able to get back to the other side. Or: I feel such happiness knowing I've raised such a lovely, thoughtful daughter

Moment. And moment. 

When she clutched the stuffed dog I'd brought her and said it was her only ally, holding it tight when she was awake, stroking it in her sleep. 


Chatting about nothing. Explaining that her parents loved her even though they weren't there. Kissing her forehead. Holding her hand. Struggling and then understanding what she meant through her medicated haze.  


But I think, the most profound was the most simple. One morning I walked in and she said: Good morning pusselah schentz. I love you. 

In spite of the chaos and fear and no guarantees she would be ok, I got to hear my mom say she loved me. And in that moment all was far better than ok.  My heart filled, I told her I loved her, and things were just fine. 


I've been thinking about writing what I've been living through lately. Writing used to be my solace, my therapy, my outlet. 

Part of me doesn't want to go that deep again. 

Part of me knows it'll help not just me but maybe others in the same place. That time when your children are growing up and your parents need you in different ways than you could have imagined. When your life feels continually upended and your equilibrium and center have shifted to a place you don't know. 

Today I was ready to start writing it. 

But it turns out I'm not. 

Thinking, contemplating, mulling it inside is as much as I can muster. 

But tomorrow is another day. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016


I used to dig deep when blogging, sharing the minutia of life altering realities Publishing a big book and donating a kidney come to mind. 

Writing was my solace, my therapy, my exploration of situations and feelings I couldn't quite talk about. 

It's not that I don't have those anymore. 

A child leaving for college. A parent who's been in the hospital for most of this year. A body that's shifting towards the unknown. 

But I don't need to examine and purge the way I used to. 

Which makes me wonder if I still have valid thoughts to put out into the world that might resonate with other people. 

I'm thinking that writing more regularly will help tap back into that. 

Or maybe what will resonate most is this feeling of uber juggling and handling and coping and dealing that so many of us are going through. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016


I would suppose everyone compartmentalizes to some extent. Blurry edges can make life more difficult to navigate and handle sometimes. 

And so many have too many balls in the air. That constant distraction though, can help with staying focus and getting through to do lists and overfilled days. 

Most of the time the balancing act is fine and I'm quite adept at it. My mother always tells me I do too much but to me, it is what it is and it's the way I am - I don't know another way of being. 

Anyway, right now my edges are blurring a bit more than I'm comfortable with. Balls are starting to drop. My inate drive has shut down and I'm perfectly happy lying on a couch and doing nothing. Yet I can't sleep at night. I'm on the edge of too many unknowns and I can't find the excitement in it at the moment, only a subtle sense of dread. 

I would imagine that many at this point in life, with 52 fast approaching, college looming on one end, hospitals and rehab for others, are feeling this too. Everything is shifting. You're needed in different ways. Your children are becoming adults and your parents need you to be the grown up sometimes. And with all that comes such profound change. Houses will be emptier. Responsibilities will shift. Holidays will be different. 

And you can't go back. 

It's far easier for me to box it all away in sections, keeping doors shuts and balls circling as effective coping strategies. At the moment though all go to methods aren't working and life is messy and unexpected. 


Perhaps overseeing arrangements for a college acceptance weekend, dealing with set ups at rehab, putting info together to hand over to the board I've headed up and am leaving, walking the dogs, making breakfast, editing a movie script, cleaning the apartment, and updating 3 websites will help me get back on my track. 

Or maybe I'll get lost in the Great British Bake Off for awhile. 

Friday, April 8, 2016


I made a commitment to blog every day for 40 days. This is day three and it's already almost gotten away from me. 

I'd started several times but things got in be way. Posts about reinvention. About transformation. About letting go when I don't want to. But they all disappeared along the way. 

That's what life is these days. 

Focus. Concentration. Drive? All out the window. 

It's more about putting out fires. Catching up. Cramming in. Juggling too many balls. 

I'm waiting for slightly longer respites so I can put more than a couple of thoughts together. 

But for now I'm glad I sat for a moment to write. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Every day, these days, is a study in balance. 



Dealing with immediate crises. 

And longer lasting dramas. 

Contemplated huge change. 



Finding space and calm in the chaos and unknown. 

Not my comfort zone. 

But I'm breathing my way through. 

That and watching the Great British Bake Off. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I went to yoga today, too tired to be there but too compelled to skip. Sleep has been eluding me lately. Tightness in my jaw has become more of a staple than a passing fad. So many emotional balls are in the air, so many imminent changes, so many almost dire circumstances have left me a bit on the shaky side. 

Waiting for class to start, tears welling up slightly, I wondered if I should quietly slip out before we started to move. 

But no. I stayed. Realizing I hadn't eaten all day and hoping I'd make it through to the end. 

Then the teacher said we'd need extra props. That we'd be flowing but we'd also be spending time in restorative poses. That finding balance in this hectic city, with sirens screaming and people throwing elbows on sidewalks, was necessary. That in the busy, overwhelming lives we lead, we need to find space. And quiet. And peace. 

My body turned it down a notch.

My brain stopped whirling for a bit. 

I walked home slower than usual and then sat with my daughter, getting lost in a delicious reality baking show. 

My to do list is still tremendous. The changes and stresses from before haven't gone anywhere. 

But the door to calm opened and I remembered I can always step through and visit when I need to. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


I just wrote an entire blog post at how I'm getting better at dealing with those overwhelming, shake your head at how frustrating, things are completely beyond my control situations. 

And then the post disappeared into cyberspace. 

Yet another speed bump on the journey. But that's ok. The point of the missing post was that I'm learning to find the silver linings in the chaos. Rehashing previous disasters served no purpose. It's the awareness and growth that matters.